I started promoting this event the end of last school year, so the troops had LOTS of time to work on it. We let them know that they should make or borrow a flag - 2 feet by 3 feet (we provided the flag poles). They were also asked to bring a stamp of some kind to stamp the passports, stamp pads were provided (we told them that they could buy stamps, or make them from sponges, potatoes, etc.) We also said that they should have something to "share" from the country they represented (a game, craft, activity, etc. - whatever THEY decided to do). Other than that they could have as little or as much as they wanted (one table would be provided per troop). We did let the troops know about how many girls would be there and told them that if they were going to have something that the girls would be taking with them to be sure to bring enough for everyone (we told them to plan on 300).
We started with a parade of flags (each troop either borrowed or made a flag from the country they were representing). Each girl was given their "passport" (the council office had printed "NorCenTex Council Thinking Day PASSPORT" at the top and I had stamped and gold embossed a US "seal" on them, so they really LOOKED like passports!!) There were enough pages inside so that each "country" had a place to put their stamp. I punched a hole in each passport and put yarn on them so that they could be worn around the neck. I gave a brief introduction of what Thinking Day was all about and the Juliette Lowe World Friendship Fund. Then 1/2 of each troop stayed with their "country" to show the other girls what they had to offer while the other 1/2 of the troop "visited" the other countries. We gave them 45 minutes to "tour" the other countries. We didn't limit the time at any one "country", but did let the girls know when 1/2 the time was over and when they had 10 minutes left. After the 45 minutes the girls switched places (so that the other 1/2 of the troop was visiting the other "countries"). These girls were also given 45 minutes and told when 1/2 the time was over and when they had 10 minutes left.
Each troop had been given long post-it notes that had been cut in 1/2 lengthwise for the girls to fill out for the Golden Link ceremony. I knew that with a group this large there would be NO WAY to let the girls add their links in a ceremony, so I asked that sometime during the event the girls write what they wanted on their link and the leaders put them into a "troop" chain before the Golden Link ceremony. During the ceremony one girl and one leader came forward with their troop chain to the others to form one big chain. As each chain was added I read a part of the ceremony and the group said the "I am a link" part. Even with the adaptation of adding a troop chain to the whole chain this took quite a bit of time and some of the girls got restless. (It didn't help that the post-it notes were a little too wide and not long enough, so they were a little hard to put together. I thought it would be a good idea because then we wouldn't have to give each troop tape for this. If I do it again I'll go with construction paper and tape!!) We then did the weave ceremony while singing "Make New Friends". This also didn't go too well. It was too complicated for younger girls and the group was too large to go around and see that everyone had their hands positioned right. We ended with a snack of cherry or apple strudel and orange drink (from McD). I had ordered 28 dozen and we had about 1/2 of them left over. I couldn't believe that many of the girls didn't want any (they looked and tasted WONDERFUL!!) I had 5 gallons of drink and we ran out of it (could have used another gallon).
All-in-all it was a good event and I think everyone had a good time.
There were some countries "represented" by more than 1 troop, but we had limited it to no more than 2 per country. Most of the booths had a poster of some kind showing something about the country - where it was, what life was like there, major cities, etc.
NorCenTex Girl Scout Council, Wichita Falls, Texas, USA
[ Return to International Events Index ] [ Return to International Information and Activities Index ] [ Return to The GuideZone Main Index ]